a welfare check is almost akin to suicide, no matter how much black militants want to romanticize the black mother. . .. There is power in numbers, but that power is greatly diminished if a lot of those numbers have to sit at home and change diapers instead of being on the front lines, where most of them would rather be. (84)
Analysis of 1965 world poll data discloses that the general public in most countries surveyed was aware of, and to some extent concerned about, the rapid rate of world population growth. Far fewer were concerned about the growth of their own nations, especially if their nations were in Africa or Latin America, where especially high growth rates prevail. The attitude toward family planning is surprisingly favorable in virtually all countries, though African respondents tended to be less favorable to it than non-African. The lack of correspondence between attitudes toward population growth and attitudes toward birth control suggested that various dimensions of the population problem have to be considered in classifying either nations or individuals. In seeking the sources of opposition to birth control, we identified three basic values—national or group power, distributive justice, and individual freedom—which underlie the opposition of various individuals and groups. Nationalist and radical groups are often unconvinced that birth control will enhance the power of the group or nation, and radicals especially are unconvinced that any potential economic benefits would be distributed to needy populations.
But with the exception of extreme moral conservatives and extremist black groups, wide-ranging leadership groups tend to favor birth control on grounds of individual freedom. The major spokesman on population matters for Cuba, who repeatedly insists that "all revolutionaries believe that at the banquet to which nature has invited us, we will never have too many," still insists a sentence or two later that
. . . fertility control... is an individual matter of the [married] couple, and the socialist society should facilitate the best means for resolving an individual need. (85)
The left wing Central Labor Federation of Chile has declared itself in favor of family planning and "irrevocably" opposed to birth control.
. . . Considering that the latter hinders the transformation of the socio-economic structures of Latin America. The CUT considers family planning an intimate family phenomenon, within which the family exercises absolute freedom of decision concerning the number of children. Birth control is understood to be an official policy intended to control births to the detriment of the total development process. (86)us Lester is one of the very few black radicals who sees the positive role of birth control in the achievement of black power: